Ludacris is one of the famous male singers who got their big break in 2000. He is mostly known for his unique ‘Dirty South’ sound rap. Aside from rapping, Ludacris is also a decent actor. He was best known for his role as Tej Parker in ‘The Fast and the Furious ‘movies.
Born on September 11, 1977, Ludacris or Christopher BrianBridges (his real name) started to build his rap career in Champaign, Illinois. At the age of nine, Ludacris began to be obsessed with rap. At a very young age, he was also a member of a rap group called ‘Loudmouth Hooligans.’
When Ludacris was 12 years old, his parents broke up. Ludacris decided to stay with his mother. Later on, they moved to Atlanta. There, life became quite tough for Ludacris and his mom. To his credit, Ludacris considered their situation as an inspiration to study harder in school.
Ludacris’ first major exposure to the music industry happened in 1998. This was when he was chosen as a guest rapper for Timbaland’s debut album, ‘Tim’s Bio: Life From Da Bassment.’ Even before this project, Ludacris was already working towards his first minor studio album entitled ‘Incognero.’ Incognero was finally released on August 17, 1999, under Ludacris’ independent record label, Disturbing tha Peace (DTP) Entertainment.
In 2000, Ludacris signed to Def Jam South record label. Def Jam South launched Ludacris in the mainstream music scene after producing his major debut album ‘Back for the First Time.’ Most of the materials used in the ‘Back for the First Time’ album were repackaged from Incognero.
Ludacris’ major debut album spawned one of his signature hits; the song entitled ‘What’s Your Fantasy.’ The song peaked at #21 in the U.S. Billboard chart. Meanwhile, ‘Back for the First Time’ ranked number four in the Billboard 100 Hit Albums. According to some magazines, Ludacris easily rose to fame with his ‘rare’ rapping style. The Rolling Stone magazine described Ludacris as the kind of rapper who will show his skills rather than just talk about them.
Ludacris released his second studio album, ‘Word of Mouf’ in2001. The album’s carrier single, ‘Rollout (My Business),’ became a hit. In fact, this hip-hop number was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Despite some people questioning his style, Ludacris pushed through and proved that he could make a difference in the rap industry.
Ludacris decided to include other DTP artists in his 2002 compilation album, ‘Golden Grain.’ The album generated positive reviews, most of which highlighted how the album contained ‘dirty’ south bounce singles that were easy enough to enjoy all day long. The said album was a big hit and sold 95,000 copies in the first week. The album generated 3 million sales in the U.S. and was certified as Gold record by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Amidst his fame, Ludacris also encountered trials during his career. One of the most controversial issues that struck this musician was the ‘Pepsi controversy.’ The issue was about an advertising deal Ludacris signed for Pepsi Cola. All went well for the said deal until one of the Fox news anchors, Bill O’Reilly, verbally attacked Pepsi for choosing Ludacris. The host-journalist branded Ludacris as not deserving to become an advertising model because he’s known for throwing ‘dirty’ and ‘unethical’ rap lines. The issue did not stop there; O’Reilly even appealed to the public to boycott Pepsi. After receiving a lot of pressure from the public, Pepsi decided to drop the advertising deal with Ludacris.
Despite this setback and the criticisms of some people who misjudged his ‘unique’ style of rapping, Ludacris pushed through with his music. He released his third studio album entitled ‘Chicken-n-Beer’ on October 07, 2003. The album was an instant hit after it sold more than 400,000 copies in its first week. Among the hit singles in this album include ‘Stand Up,’ Splash Waterfalls’ and ‘Blow It Out.’
In 2004, Ludacris again stormed the world of rap after releasinghis double-platinum album ‘The Red Light District.’ Among the guest performers in the said album were famous American rappers DMX and Nas.
Ludacris won three Grammy Awards. His first Grammy award was the‘Best Rap/ Sung Collaboration’ for the song ‘Yeah!’ The next Grammy award that Ludacris bagged was the ‘Best Rap Song’ for his hit single ‘Money Maker.’ Ludacris also got the Grammy’s ‘Best Rap Album’ award for his fifth studio album, ‘Release Therapy.’ Aside from the honor of winning a Grammy, Ludacris also secured several awards from other prestigious award-giving bodies. These include the BET Awards, the CMT Music Awards, and the MTV Video Music Awards.
Further on, Ludacris started to experience a decline in sales in hislater albums such as ‘Theater of the Mind (2008), ‘Battle of the Sexes (2010)’ and ‘Ludaversal (2015).’ The decline in sales and productivity came after Ludacris was busy with his other ventures, such as his on-screen appearances and managing his ‘Chicken-n-Beer’ restaurant. Aside from these, Ludacris was also busy doing civic-oriented activities with his Ludacris Foundation.
In addition to the restaurant business and his music, Ludacris is the co-owner of a liquor company. In 2011, he released his own brand of headphones by the name of ‘Soul By Ludacris’.
Ludacris is also involved in several philanthropic ventures. These include the Ludacris Foundation, which was founded in 2002. The Foundation aims to inspire youth and help them through education. There’s also a lot of effort from his side in helping people access books. For this purpose, he supported the Epic Book Drive and helped to restock the library shelves inside New Orleans.
In 2014, Ludacris married the model EudoxieMbouguiengue. They have one daughter named Cadence Gaelle.
It might not have been an easy career for Ludacris, it was surely a productive and successful one. He fought to produce just the kind of music he wanted to and proved that he could make a difference. His rapping style is unique, but Ludacris himself is quite a rare personality himself.